“The only wishes that will ever change you are the kind that may, at any moment, eat you whole.”
― Janette Rallison
I woke with a start this morning at 3:18 a.m. trying to make sense of whatever garbled dream I had been having. It isn't unusual for me to be wide awake in the pre-dawn hours but this morning's early rousing was accompanied by a slight panic state:
I still have SO MUCH LEFT TO DO.
People who are close to me know that I have no true fear of death. It's why I can jump out of a plane without a second thought or walk alone in dark cities at 2 a.m. It's why I'm OK with leaving doors unlocked (Attention potential burglars: I no longer DO THIS. Thing 1 gets annoyed when I don't lock the doors). It's how I can make middle-of-the-night trips to that sketchy WalMart when I can't sleep. It's not even that I'm not scared, though; I relish the thought of dying. I LOOK FORWARD to it because I think THEN...FINALLY...I will have all the answers. I am NOTHING if not a Little-Miss-Wanna-Know-It-All. The advent of the Google age has given me tremendous abilities to find answers to all of life's questions.
BUT...I'm not ready yet, according to this morning's brief panic attack. I still have a LOT left to do! I'm not talking about places I need to go...those may number in the thousands; my travel bucket list is only limited by the fact that the world itself isn't infinite. I'm talking about the STUFF I need to do.
Now, I HAVE been skydiving (once...and I WILL be going again...soon!), Rocky Mountain climbing (yes, I've been to the peak of Colorado's highest mountain) and I certainly went more than 2.7 seconds on that mechanical bull at Arizona Pete's. But I have SO MUCH MORE to go!
- Go on a cattle drive. (What a fun thing to start the list with! I mean a REAL one...camping out under the stars on a roll of blankets and eating beans out of a tin can warmed on an open fire.)
- Speak at a commencement ceremony. Even if it's only at the local old folks home for those people who graduated from basket weaving class.
- Speak more than just English. My limited "necessito dos cervezas, por favor" doesn't count.
- Learn to fly fish. In Alaska. While high. (On LIFE. Sheesh.)
- Take my kids on a cross-country adventure. We've done the Northeast. I need to be hardcore and take them all the way to the west coast. In a car.
- Get my pilot's license. Tell everyone I have it. Everyone. Arby's drive-thru: "Will that be all today?" "Yeah, hey...did you know I have my PILOT'S LICENSE?"
- Talk to my kids about sex. Again. Ad nauseum. Not because I haven't done it before but because they HATE IT SO MUCH it warrants doing over and over.
- Watch the stars out of one of those REALLY BIG telescopes. Like the professional kind.
- Train to be an astronaut.
- Talk about running for president. Develop a following. Drop out before they discover that I wear ladies underwear. (Oh, wait...that's OK, isn't it?)
- Live in a house that stays clean for longer than two days. Once.
- Plan my funeral. Include a disco ball and a recording of Whitney Houston singing "I Will Always Love You." Ensure that fresh popcorn will be served...by clowns.
- Hire a marching band to make some grand announcement. (My life has never included an actual grand announcement. Maybe I should make that next...)
- Figure out something grand to announce.
- Sleep the entire night for more than three days in a row.
- Get married in Vegas. When I'm 70.
- Tell CEO of Starbucks he has changed my life. For good.
- Take over loudspeaker at big box retailer. Sing "Sweet Caroline." Ask everyone to sing along.
- Get healthy. Make it stick for more than a week.
- Become a person who says, "I think I'd like that" instead of "OMG, that is the BEST IDEA EVER!" when someone asks if I'd like butter/sugar/to go to a movie. I think the former type of person must be more stable in general. Not that I would know.
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